The Prey is a film we’ve seen before, a bunch of rich, white, wealthy guys want to have a go at killing real people, so they pay off a prison warden, whose prison is in the middle of nowhere, and get to do just that.
This time we’re in the jungle and the twist is that one of the people they’re trying to kill is a Chinese Interpol officer called Xin, Gu Shangwei, who was undercover at the time of his arrest. Naturally, Xin is a dab hand in hand-to-hand combat and weaponry which means he’s not as easy to kill as they were expecting.
Interpol send two people to find their man, who has a GPS tracker in his watch. Though the watch is taken from him by one of the guards early on, though handily he is one of the guards who are in on the warden’s sadistic game of chase.
The three men who pay for this privilege consist of an older guy with a magnificent ‘tash, a trendy looking guy who seems to know the warden well, and a hot-headed, younger guy who carries a gun with a rocket launcher attachment.
Once this trio have paid their fee, the warden, Vithaya Pansringram (“The Meg”, “Only God Forgives”), allows them to pick their foes. He does this by starting a mini-riot as the prisoners are in the yard. This leads to the trio selecting our-man, who handles himself well, and the only other person he’s spoken to who happens to speak Chinese.
Strangely, a whole bunch of others get taken to this mysterious site/jungle as well. Once a guard fires his gun, all the prisoners run towards the jungle, only three make it, but that’s just the start of their ordeal.
The Interpol people meanwhile, stick their nose in the wardens business and he makes them pay. One is shot and killed whilst the other is captured, to be used as bait later to try and flush Xin out.
Xin and his friend do manage to kill one of the chasing pack, Mr Moustache, as well as injuring the guy who brought them here, only for the younger of our chasing trio, who by now is appearing mentally unstable, to finish him off.
The Prey is a decent film, it’s a touch slow at times from a story point of view and the action scenes are very slow, particularly the hand-to-hand scenes. There’s also a ridiculous scene whereby one of the chasing guards decides, instead of shooting Xin, he’s going to fight him. This takes place at a river which looks like the one from Rambo 2, when his girlfriend is killed.
Anyway, naturally there’s a big final scene after Xin and his friends find a local camp of people. Nearly everyone is dead by this point except the warden who, somehow, just manages to keep going, like the Terminator or something.
I do like the directing by Jimmy Hernderson (“Final Semester”, “Jailbreak”) who co-wrote the film with Michael Hodgson (“Jailbreak”, “Mind Cage”) and Kai Miller (“The Eco-Warriors (TV)”). He uses a lot of handheld but it’s quite floaty and he keeps the shots long in length which works well.
This isn’t a full-on, non-stop actioner, whilst there’s plenty, The Prey feels more measured than say a Rambo or Battle Royale, the latter it obviously borrows from. The film it mostly borrows heavily from though is Surviving The Game from 1994 with the late, great Ruger Hauer, Ice-T and Gary Busey, it feels more mature than that too.